Pitch Your Next Idea Like a Stand-up Comedian
How to use a professional comedian's techniques to seal the deal
Summary: Pitching an idea to stakeholders is not so different to performing stand-up comedy. Hear me out: You need to capture your audience’s attention right off the top, and keep them hanging on your every word throughout the presentation. Sealing the deal isn’t necessarily about how good you are at what you do, but about how well you tell your story. Mastering the tips below can help:
Get to the “punchline,” or establish your credibility, within the first 15 seconds. The audience will listen up and want to hear what else you have to say.
Don’t make assumptions about your audiences’ knowledge. Avoid acronyms and jargon. If your audience doesn’t understand your references, you’ll lose them.
Keep culture in mind. Who is your audience? Would your idea excite them or offend them?
Address questions on-the-spot. If a member of your audience has a question or objection, be in the moment and answer it immediately. Don’t stick to your script.
Keep it short. Use as many words as you need to in order to get your point across. Nothing more.
Senior Editor of HBR, Vasundhara Sawhney, wrote that this was one of HBR's favourite reads on giving killer presentations.
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